Home' Future Building: The Australian Infrastructure Review : December 2010 Contents 20 futurebuilding DECEMBER 2010
Fitch Ratings is a global rating agency
committed to providing independent and
prospective credit opinions, research and data.
With 51 offices worldwide on five continents,
Fitch Ratings' global expertise, built on a
foundation of local market experience, spans
across capital markets in over 150 countries.
Fitch Ratings is widely recognised by
investors, issuers, and bankers for its credible,
transparent, and timely coverage.
Fitch Ratings' Global Infrastructure and
Project Finance group ("the Group") utilises a
consistent and accessible approach to ratings.
Internationally, the Group comprises 47
dedicated analysts with extensive backgrounds
in Corporate, Structured, Project and Public
Finance. Analysts are responsible for covering
over 500 ratings globally.
The Group works in close cooperation
with other Fitch Ratings analysts around the
world. This multi-sector approach allows
Fitch Ratings to maintain consistency on an
international scale, while addressing the
unique characteristics of regional markets.
The Group assigns ratings to a variety of
debt instruments, including the privatisation of
public infrastructure assets, traditional project
finance debt and specific structured finance
deals. The Group also assigns preliminary
stage shadow ratings and credit assessments
for potential financings. Leveraging global
coverage, the Group's analysts are able to
provide consistent and timely services to
investors, issuers, arrangers and financial
The Group covers over 500 project and
infrastructure ratings in:
Power and Energy.
Industrial, Mining and Utilities.
The Group's Australian portfolio of
ratings is predominantly comprised of mature
investment grade PPPs in the transport sector.
These projects have strong cash flows and
very sound coverage ratios, which is reflected
in the low credit risk associated with these
The Australian project finance market has
been characterised by non-amortising short-to
medium-term bullet financing provided by the
bank market. For typical project financings
this creates refinancing risk. However, given
the nature of the Australian capital markets,
this is not an impediment to financing with
most issuers typically commencing refinance
campaigns up to 12 months prior to maturity.
In the case of PPPs or projects where the
financing is principally a bullet or a series of
bullets but where there is a long concession
life, Fitch Ratings also considers, in addition
to the refinance risk, cash flows, coverage
ratios, structural supports, the amortisation
profile and the concession tail in determining
ratings. The fact that a project is funded by a
series of bullets will not necessarily preclude
an investment-grade rating being assigned.
The outlook for infrastructure and project
finance debt ratings in Fitch Ratings' Australian
portfolio for 2010 is stable.
For more information contact:
Robert Zivcic, Director, Global
Infrastructure Group, Sydney on
+61 (0)2 8256 0304
Ben Fleming, Director, Business &
Relationship Management, Sydney on
+61 (0)2 8256 0346 or visit
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